Exploring the bizarre world of the psychiatric condition called "Glass Delusion"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/11/exploring-the-bizarre-world-of-the-psychiatric-condition-called-glass-delusion.html


This sad affliction makes for a terrible supervillain origin story, IMO.

(I loathed Unbreakable, and I will not be swayed in my perspective.)


OTOH, Philip Glass believes he’s actually flesh and blood. Huh.

  1. So, uh, did this ever happen to like peasants? Because I don’t think the reality of their world would allow them to think they are made of glass for too long. I feel like a parent would slap them upside the head and say, “See, your head didn’t shatter, now get out there and plow the east field.”

  2. So, what caused it? Environment toxins? Genetics?

  3. Is that condition around today? Is it treatable?

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Yeah. I hate that fucking movie. The disorder Sam Jackson’s character has is a real bone disorder. Osteogenesis imperfecta. I have a mild form of it. When I watched that movie, I was so excited at first. “Wow! A major motion picture with a character with my bone disorder! And played by Sam Jackson! This is so cool!” That excitement shattered like my femurs when I was 12 by the end of the movie. Hollywood loves that trope. Supervillains and bad guys always have to be different somehow. Gay, trans, black, brown, Muslim, atheist, diseased, deformed … different. In the real world, the worst monsters are almost always straight white men with nothing physically wrong with them. But for Hollywood, different=bad.


Tv Show Comedy GIF by HULU


I had a science teacher in 8th grade with a glass eye. He lost it to a stick when he was 4. He loved joking around with it. Something about that lead me to eventually really resent that trope that some scar or missing limb was representative of a character’s interior damage. In real life, people are just sometimes born without a leg, or their fingers fuse together (like a friend of mine in middle school). It just happens.

One of the things I liked about Luca was that the girl’s dad’s missing arm was just a birth difference. There was no scary story behind it to explain his fixation on sea monsters.

Anyway, the protagonist of my web comic has a prosthetic eye as a nod to my old science teacher. And the story I gave her was that an electrical panel just shorted out randomly near her face and a small piece of shrapnel destroyed her eye. Because people can have these differences and it’s just a part of a much bigger, more interesting package.


Plenty of poor people throughout history have suffered all kinds of afflictions that failed to be recorded. Their lives weren’t important to the people writing this stuff down. A parent can’t slap a mental illness out of someone, but they might be able to get a family member to suffer more quietly.


I am reminded of Harlan Ellison’s story “Shattered Like a Glass Goblin.”

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